Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. It is important to note that, the Ministry is doing this in fulfilment of articles 181 and 181(2) of the Constitution that, if Government wants to lend to any public institution it must be laid here and approved by us.
Secondly, Mr Speaker, this is not a loan in the sense that Government got the grant back in 2013. It has not been the practice of the Ministry of Finance to ordinarily inform Parliament when we get grants. But I may want to suggest to the Ministry that, for our information, it may be useful that when grants come, they inform us so that we keep track. But as the Chairman said, that grant came with the condition that we on-lend to Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing and Water Resources and Local Government and Rural Development, and it is in fulfilment of that legal obligation that the Ministry is coming here.
So, there are no issues except that, we argued a bit about the terms of lending. It is free money so to speak, but the Ministry tells us that, they want a commercial organisation like Ghana Water Company to practice as a commercial entity.
Even though the loan is in dollars the interest rate is Bank of Ghana policy rate which as of now, I believe, is 18 per cent. But the repayment is in cedis, so all the risks on the exchange is being given to Ghana Water Corporation.
Now whether or not they can manage the exchange risk is a different matter. I know that, right now the balance sheet of Ghana Water Company is not the best, but I also know that, the Ministry must make them commercially accountable, so we must find a proper balance when we are doing this.
If it were say Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), I would not have a problem at all, but as I know, if you look in the books of Ghana Water Company it is not the best, but we need to encourage such State organisations to begin to be commercial in their operations so that at least, Government can benefit from this. Of course, as the Ministry says, the Ministry, in anticipation of the Ghana Infrastructure Fund wants all these monies to come there so that it can be ploughed back into further infrastructure.
I am hoping that, in this case, a reasonable appeal would be that, given the financial situation of Ghana Water Company Limited, that when re-payments come in, the Ministry would be prepared to recommend that, since Ghana Water Company qualifies under the definition of infrastructure that we would push these monies towards them so that they can begin to clean their books to enable them to go out on their own to, as it were, borrow on commercial terms.
Mr Speaker, the Chairman has proposed the amendment and I think it is important that we keep that in mind. They would pay back in cedis, so if we are not careful somebody who does not want to do well can say that, it is in dollars so pay dollars,